September 9, 2022

Announcing the Illinois Recycling Foundation’s Annual Award Winners!
The Illinois Recycling Foundation, an educational 501c3 non-profit, separated from the Illinois Recycling Association in 2020. They remain affiliated, sharing a 40+ year tradition of recognizing outstanding members at an annual meeting. IRF is proud to share this year’s three recipients. The award winners were announced during the annual Zero Waste IRF conference and trade show, held August 30-31 in Joliet, Illinois.
Madison County was recognized as the Outstanding Public Sector Program for their pursuit and achievement of Opening a Permanent Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility. This is the first such permanent site in southern Illinois. The Madison County Building and Zoning Department worked diligently over several years to facilitate the opening of the first permanent Household Hazardous Waste Collection Site in Southern Illinois. They received guidance from the Illinois EPA and Heritage Environmental, a hazardous waste contractor. With the opening of this facility, the county has been able to quadruple their annual hazardous waste collection numbers in just a few months.
For Outstanding Private Sector program, GDB International, headquartered in Nashville, IL was recognized for their advancement of latex paint recycling in Illinois and beyond. GDB is an international recycled latex paint manufacturing company. Over the past 20 years, they have recovered over 1.5 BILLION pounds of paint across the USA and approximately 375 million pounds of paint was from Illinois. GDB works in multiple states that Paint take-back programs due to Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) laws and has been working to see such legislation passed in Illinois.
The last award, and the highest recognition, is the Steve Apotheker Award, and it was presented to Susan Monte, a public servant who recently retired from Champaign County. Her career as Planner coupled with her concern for the environment, lead her to become the County Recycling Coordinator. Her research on Household Hazardous Waste was instrumental in the recent advancement of services being offering by the Illinois EPA. Susan has served on a variety of statewide groups, including the recent Materials Management Advisory Council. In her free time, she founded the Champaign County Environmental Stewards, a non-profit that has taken on a mission of improving services where few or none exist in the area for difficult to recycle or recover items from mattresses to hazardous waste.
Congratulations to all of the 2022 IRF Award Recipients.
If you are interested in becoming a sponsor or member of the IRF, please contact Allessandra Kummelehne at
For more information on the IRF, visit